UK Start-Ups Spreading The Joy

The UK government has adopted as one of its flagship policies the process of ‘levelling up’ – spreading out as much economic activity and opportunity across the country as possible. And it’s fair to say that the results of the policy are beginning to bear fruit.  

Analysis of data from Companies House has shown that a record 202, 130 new businesses were set up in the UK in the first 12 weeks of 2023 which represents a year-on-year (YoY) rise of 6.5%. What’s most interesting is how the energy and momentum of these new businesses is now spread out across the UK, beyond London and the south-east.  

A new study by independent digital agency Dark Horse collected data on quality of life, the rate of new businesses opened (competition), internet quality, local education, transport services and GVA to find out the hotspots of start up activity.  
The study revealed that Manchester is the best city to start a new business in the UK, achieving an overall score of 90, followed closely by London. Tellingly, cities such as Cardiff, Leeds, Sheffield and Glasgow all made the top ten, suggesting that the talent pool, investment appetite and tech infrastructure are all delivering for young businesses.  

James Maxfield, data expert at Dark Horse, who analysed the results, explains: “In the past, location was considered everything in business – from logistics to networking it was the be-all and end-all, and to be successful you had to head south. But that’s just not the case anymore. Investment in infrastructure, talent acquisition, culture and the digital age has made it possible to set up a business pretty much anywhere in the UK.

This data clearly shows that businesses have the absolute potential to boom across the UK. As a northern company ourselves, it’s great to see a wide variety of cities rank in the top 10. There is no doubt that with effective investment and opportunities, businesses can grow, and cities can thrive as a result. 

Top 10 cities to start a new business in the UK in 2023 

Rank City Overall Score: 
1 Manchester 90 
2 London 92 
3 Sheffield 93 
4 Birmingham 100 
5 Glasgow 111 
6 Brighton and Hove 116 
7 Cardiff 120 
8 Liverpool 127 
9 Luton 131 
10 Leeds 137 

If you want to continue you start up journey in the UK and you’re in need of advice or support in this or any other area, Paul Beare Ltd is right here for all your needs. You can contact us for help from tax and payroll to accounting and banking.